Monday, November 4, 2013

Nigeria threatens to throw Indians out of the country in response to Goa crackdown

Nigeria will throw thousands of Indians residing there on the streets, if the Goa government does not stop evicting Nigerians living in the tourist state, their consular official has warned, even as the Goa government’s crackdown on the African community has threatens to start a diplomatic row. Consular attaché to the Nigerian embassy in New Delhi, Jacob Nwadadia told Firstpost on Monday afternoon that if the police did not stop evicting Nigerian nationals from their homes forcibly, by 9 pm (India Standard Time), then “thousands of Indian nationals living in Nigeria will be thrown on the streets too”.

The warning comes after ministers of the Goa government including the chief minister himself and the state administration cracked down on the African community, after over 200 Nigerians blockaded a national highway for hours on Thursday following the murder of their compatriot. According to chief minister Manohar Parrikar the murder was a result of a war between two narcotics peddling gangs.

Parrikar also said that antecedents and documents of all foreign nationals living in Goa would be verified, the police as well as BJP workers have unleashed a campaign of terror on Nigerians, evicting them from their rented homes. “There are only 50,000 Nigerians living in India, but there are over one million Indians living in Nigeria,” Jacob said, making the none-too-discreet threat. Jacob said that he had been instructed by the Nigerian ambassador in New Delhi to convey the caution to the Goa government in no uncertain terms.

Jacob said that Nigeria was five hours behind India, and that the deadline given to the Goa government was 9 pm. “When it is 9 pm in India, it would be 4 pm in Nigeria. If the eviction does not stop, then we will take similar action in Nigeria,” said Jacob, who met Nigerians, police as well as district administration officials through Sunday and Monday.

Jacob also said that he would revoke hundreds of visas of Indians in Nigeria in reciprocation to the action against Nigerians in Goa. The police action against Nigerians aside the manner in which they have been referred to by Goa’s lawmakers, including the chief minister himself borders on racism. While Goa’s minister for culture and art Dayanand Mandrekar likened Nigerians to cancer, another BJP legislator Subhash Phaldesai said that their behaviour was similar “wild animals”, who were pumped with drugs. Parrikar himself, while addressing a press conference said that Nigerians are “huge” and “aggressive”, while defending the inability of the police to nip the Thursday’s highway blockade in the bud.

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